Hours before a “Day Without a Woman,” Lady Liberty went on strike, though not, as it were, on purpose. Around 10 p.m. on Tuesday night, the spotlights that usually illuminate the Statue of Liberty suddenly fizzled out, leaving only the New York City icon’s torch and crown gleaming in the darkness. Social media immediately lit up. The timing was “just too perfect,” wrote one Twitter user, referring to the women’s strike, an offshoot of the Women’s March on Washington, that was scheduled to coincide with International Women’s Day on Wednesday. “Power failure or social commentary?” someone asked. “Give me your tired your poor your huddled masses but later. We’re closed,” tweeted another.

Statue of Liberty, Day Without a Woman, International Women's Day, New York City, New York, Liberty Island

Did one of the world’s most enduring symbols of freedom and succor go dark in a show of solidarity for the sisterhood? Despite the powerful optics of a near-blackout one day after President Donald Trump signed a revised travel ban that included, among other things, a 120-day suspension of all refugees entering the United States, the reason for the apparent demonstration was pretty quotidian.

In a statement released hours later, the National Parks Service explained that a “power and a lighting system controller had been switched off in order to change out faulty lighting equipment.”

“Upon completion of that project, power was restored, but the outage was a result of a failure to properly reset the lighting system controller,” it added.

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Although Tuesday’s night outage was unplanned, the National Park Service anticipates “some planned outages” related to the installation of a replacement for an emergency backup generator that was damaged during Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

“We anticipate those outages will take place over the next few weeks,” it said.

People accepted the justification to various degrees of credulity. “Apparently the Statue of Liberty lights went out due to a power failure,” one Twitter user said. “But I would argue women are also protesting due to a power failure.”

Organizers of a “Day Without a Woman” rejected the National Parks Service’s reality and substituted their own. “Lady Liberty got the memo,” they tweeted.

Via Washington Post

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